The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has inaugurated the National Council on Animal Welfare (NCAW) to chart a new course for the implementation of animal welfare practices in Nigeria.
The Council, with members drawn from the military, para-military, veterinary teaching hospitals and deans of faculties of veterinary institutes in Nigeria, is expected to, among other things, regulate animal welfare in line with global best practices to ensure that animals are treated humanely, responsibly and devoid of stress, hunger, anxiety and pain.
Inaugurating the Council in Abuja, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, said the Council was necessary to drive Nigeria Animal Welfare Strategy, developed and approved by the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development (NCARD) in 2016.
While tasking the Council to provide clear roadmap that would ensure a successful implementation of animal welfare policies and programmes for the country, Dr Abubakar noted that, “We shall continue to do our best within the available resources at our disposal as we look forward to support from non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders in this domain to ensure that together we improve animal welfare practice in Nigeria on a sustainable basis.”
Delivering her remarks, director, Federal Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, Dr Maimuna Habib, stated that the inauguration of the Council was aimed at formulating national standard for use and care of animals as well as implement policies on matters concerning the general care of animals in research, teaching and mandatory testing of products in Nigeria.
She added that the Council would serve as medium for awareness creation of relevant stakeholders on good animal welfare practices, noting that NCAW would operate a committee system.